The Close-Up: Brett Morgen Demystifies with ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’


Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck director Brett Morgen and editor Joe Beshenkovsky with the Film Society's Eugene Hernandez at the Walter Reade Theater. Photo by Julie Cunnah.

The latest The Close-Up podcast features filmmaker Brett Morgen, whose new documentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, begins its limited theatrical release this weekend.

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Morgen's HBO Documentary feature is the first doc to be made about the late Nirvana singer and guitarist with the cooperation of his family. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, approached Morgen about the idea of taking on the project back in 2007. With that blessing, Morgen and his team were given unprecedented access to Cobain's personal and family archives. The powerful film includes footage of various Nirvana performances and unheard songs as well as previously unreleased home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, and more.

Additionally, the film includes interviews with Kurt Cobain's mother, Wendy, and father, Donald, as well as with Love. Kurt and Courtney's only daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, served as a co-executive producer of the film. After its debut at Sundance in January, the film screened at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February. HBO will begin airing it on May 4.

Morgen and the film's editor, Joe Beshenkovsky, joined the Film Society's Eugene Hernandez on stage at the Walter Reade Theater this past Monday night, following the screening of the film, for an extensive conversation about the making of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and working with Courtney Love and Frances Cobain.

David Fear of Rolling Stone described the film as "the unfiltered Kurt experience," noting that Cobain is shown "not as a spokesperson of a generation" but as a "human being, husband and father."